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About Elizabeth Ferruelo

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So far Elizabeth Ferruelo has created 36 blog entries.

Between Worlds: My Journey into Design, Tech, and Science

2022-08-24T16:07:07-05:00August 24th, 2022|Chicago, National|

I was born on Chicago’s South Side. I’m an artist, who loved writing stories and studied film at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I assumed I’d find a job in that area but found it’s not so easy to make a living as an artist! My cousin graduated from i.c.stars and told me about the program. He now had a great job in the IT department at DeVry. He told me to try, telling me that core IT principles could lead to countless positions in many different industries.

Technology is everywhere, in some way or another. Being comfortable with tech can be the start of anything you want to do. I applied to i.c.stars and started in cycle 31.

I.c.stars teaches technology through real-world applications. Combining high expectations with a high level of structure and support makes the work challenging but memorable. I pushed through and, when I finished, landed a […]

i.c.stars Technology Ambassadors Give Back to Their Communities – Through the Teacher’s Bureau

2022-06-29T12:00:53-05:00June 29th, 2022|Chicago, National|

Technology Ambassadors Give Back To Their Commuities 

“This is the i.c.stars vision: teaching IT skills and encouraging us to apply those skills in the community. We can be servant leaders in our neighborhoods and role models to the kids who live there now,” said Larry Cowans, i.c.stars Program Manager and Graduate.

i.c.stars’ mission is IT training and workforce development, addressing low-skill jobs and lack of opportunity in the inner-city. It’s also about sustaining this development by cultivating leaders who can drive change in their communities. Cohorts are encouraged to look around their neighborhoods and find ways to leverage their skills to benefit others. The i.c.stars Teachers Bureau is one example of that community impact. 

“This is the i.c.stars vision: teaching skills and how to take those skills to help the community. So when the opportunity came to work with the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, we were on it” […]

i.c.stars Partners With OneTen To Place Black Talent In Chicago Into Family-Sustaining Careers

2022-06-06T09:01:52-05:00June 6th, 2022|Chicago, National|

Chicago, June  6, 2022 — Inner-City Computer Stars (i.c.stars), an educational and workforce development organization offering technology training, leadership development, and career readiness support to inner-city young adults, announced today that it is partnering with OneTen, a coalition of leading executives and their companies who have committed to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black individuals over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.

As an endorsed talent developer, i.c.stars will join OneTen’s robust network to prepare and place Black individuals without four-year degrees into family-sustaining careers with America’s top employers, including American Express, Cisco, IBM, Walmart, and more.

“Working with OneTen, as a new friend and partner, we will increase access to technology training, opportunity, and career advancement for more Black Americans,” said Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars president and co-founder. “We help employers see the value in non-traditional talent pipelines—and the value to their bottom line and our […]

i.c.stars Celebrates 50th Class of Turning City Young Adults Into Technology Leaders

2022-06-08T14:19:48-05:00June 3rd, 2022|Chicago, National|

Non-profit with operations in Chicago and Milwaukee hires two graduates as new staff leaders

Chicago, June 3, 2022—i.c. stars, which develops leaders through a technology training program for underserved young adults, has launched its 50th cohort with 20 participants from City of Chicago neighborhoods. The 16-week program prepares young adults with a high school diploma or GED for a career in the rapidly expanding field of technology.

Founded in 1999 by Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars drives change through education, training and opportunity. i.c.stars provides underserved young adults with technology-based workforce development, community leadership training, internships and job placement. i.c.stars has an 83 percent placement rate and 96 percent of alumni volunteer after graduation.

i.c.stars has also hired two graduates to strengthen its training team:

  • Larry Cowans has been named program manager for i.c.stars. A graduate of one of the first i.c.stars classes, Larry has had a successful career in a variety of industries using 3D Design. Most […]

‘Fairness and Justice also Move my Spirit’ – i.c.stars Graduate Sherronda

2021-11-19T13:01:03-06:00November 19th, 2021|National|

Before i.c.stars I was working and volunteering at my son’s school. Money was tight but I was getting by, then Covid hit and everything shut down. I had to find something but didn’t know what was out there.

I first learned about i.c.stars from a friend of mine. She’d graduated from the program and told me it was great, life-changing, even. I thought, hum I wonder if this is something I could do? My son was taking a coding class for middle school and that was very interesting for me. I was always good at solving puzzles. I loved puzzles and I could see where the code was off, even if I didn’t know coding. In my house, I was called Ms. Electronics because I could fix anything, set up the internet or TV. So I was interviewed for the i.c.stars program and I was excited right […]

Microsoft Supports i.c.stars in their Mission to Provide a Life-Changing Experience

2020-08-27T13:21:12-05:00July 14th, 2020|National|

Chicago-based nonprofit i.c.stars works in three cities to train a more diverse IT workforce. After an intensive four-month training, graduates are equipped with the technical skills and business leadership to thrive in tech-enabled jobs. Microsoft has supported i.c.stars for 20 years and remains committed to ensuring all people have the opportunity and access to the life-changing power of technology. Watch Video

i.c.stars is Featured as Diversifying Milwaukee’s Tech

2020-09-08T17:16:47-05:00July 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

When a woman of color approached a white investor about her tech start up, he handed her his plate, mistaking her for the event’s cleaning crew. This type of racism is reflective of what entrepreneurs of color face when trying to build a tech company in a predominately white business sector. Milwaukee Business Journal dives deeper into the impact that a $50 million fund for divers founders could accomplish for Milwaukee’s tech. Read Article

Executive Director of i.c.stars Milwaukee Quoted in WisBusiness

2020-08-17T14:16:34-05:00July 1st, 2020|Uncategorized|

The business leaders of Milwaukee say that mentorship, inclusivity, and location will improve diversity in the workforce.

Sarah Dollhausen-Clark, executive director of i.c.stars Milwaukee, admits that it is hard to pin-point just one thing that can benefit Milwaukee’s lack of diversity in the workforce, as there are many that stem from the raw statistics of the minority communities. However, she offers one large critique for companies who are shifting their focus to diversifying their staff. She proceeds to offer some of her own ideas to ensure this this transformation can begin happening in Milwaukee’s workforce.

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